Virginia Woolf

Standard Name: Woolf, Virginia
Birth Name: Adeline Virginia Stephen
Nickname: Ginia
Married Name: Adeline Virginia Woolf
Thousands of readers over three or four generations have known that Virginia Woolf was—by a beadle—denied access to the library of a great university. They may have known, too, that she was a leading intellect of the twentieth century. If they are feminist readers they will know that she thought . . . back through her mothers and also sideways through her sisters and that she contributed more than any other in the twentieth century to the recovery of women's writing.
Marcus, Jane. “Introduction”. New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf, edited by Jane Marcus, Macmillan, 1981, p. i - xx.
Educated in her father's library and in a far more than usually demanding school of life, she radically altered the course not only of the English tradition but also of the several traditions of literature in English.
Froula, Christine. Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde. Columbia University Press, 2005.
She wrote prodigiously—nine published novels, as well as stories, essays (including two crucial books on feminism, its relation to education and to war), diaries, letters, biographies (both serious and burlesque), and criticism. As a literary journalist in a wide range of forums, she addressed the major social issues of her time in more than a million words.
Woolf, Virginia. “Introduction; Editorial Note”. The Essays of Virginia Woolf, edited by Andrew McNeillie, Hogarth Press, 1994, pp. vols. 1 - 4: various pages.
She left a richly documented life in words, inventing a modern fiction, theorising modernity, writing the woman into the picture. She built this outstandingly influential work, which has had its impact on both writing and life, on her personal experience, and her fictions emerge to a striking degree from her life, her gender, and her moment in history. In a sketch of her career written to Ethel Smyth she said that a short story called An Unwritten Novelwas the great discovery . . . . That—again in one second—showed me how I could embody all my deposit of experience in a shape that fitted it.
Woolf, Virginia. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Nicolson, Nigel and Joanne TrautmannEditors , Hogarth Press, 1980.
4: 231
Well-known black and white photograph of Virginia Stephen (later Virginia Woolf), 1902.  She is seen in profile, with her hair loosely caught back in a bun
"Virginia Woolf, 1902" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.
Photograph of Virginia Woolf with hand on face wearing a fur stole. This is a picture from one of Virginia Woolf's own photo albums at Monk's House which were acquired at an auction at Sotheby's in 1982 (cf. Maggie Humm, Snapshots of Bloomsbury: The Private Lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, p. 187), gifted in 1983 by Frederick R. Koch to the Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Libray, Harvard University, and afterwards scanned and uploaded by the library.
"Virginia Woolf" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Sarah Trimmer
Their second daughter, Sarah known as Selina , taught the younger ones and also some neighbour children.
Yarde, Doris M. Sarah Trimmer of Brentford and her Children, with Some of her Early Writings 1780-1786. Hounslow and District History Society, 1990.
She later worked for as governess in the household of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire , and later...
Family and Intimate relationships Dora Carrington
DC began a long friendship with Virginia Woolf when she was summoned to Woolf's country home, Asheham, after breaking into the house with Barbara Hiles and David Garnett .
Gerzina, Gretchen. Carrington: A Life of Dora Carrington, 1893-1932. John Murray, 1989.
Family and Intimate relationships Julia Strachey
JS spent her first four years in London at her aunt Elinor (Strachey) Rendel 's home in Melbury Road.
Strachey, Julia, and Frances Partridge. Julia: A Portrait of Julia Strachey. Little, Brown, 1983.
Rendel, who had diverse skills and interests, was Virginia Woolf 's chief physician during...
Family and Intimate relationships Constance Garnett
David married twice and had four children by the time of his mother's death. His first wife, Ray Garnett , was an artist and illustrator. His second wife, Angelica Bell , was the daughter of...
Family and Intimate relationships Dora Carrington
DC met her greatest love, the writer Lytton Strachey , during a three-day stay at Asheham, the Sussex home of Virginia (and Leonard) Woolf .
This was a year which in Virginia Woolf's life was...
Family and Intimate relationships Dorothy Bussy
Dorothy's immediate family was large and vibrant: she had nine surviving siblings, most of whom distinguished themselves in the public realm. Her sister Philippa (Pippa) Strachey (1872-1968) was a longtime suffragist who organized the first...
Family and Intimate relationships Dora Carrington
Woolf recalled their first conversation to Garnett : It flatters us a good deal to see what a reputation for a temper we've got. I telephoned to Miss Carrington, and heard her quake at the...
Family and Intimate relationships Emily Davies
Margaret Llewelyn Davies of the Women's Cooperative Guild , friend of Virginia Woolf , was ED 's niece.
Family and Intimate relationships Dorothy Bussy
(Joan) Pernel Strachey (1876-1951) was Tutor, Lecturer in Modern Languages, Vice-Principal, and then from 1923 to 1941 Principal of Newnham College . She hosted Virginia Woolf in October 1928 when Woolf addressed the Newnham Arts Society
Family and Intimate relationships Dora Carrington
As part of a suicide watch around Carrington organized by her friends, Virginia and Leonard Woolf visited her at Ham Spray on 10 March. Virginia later wrote in her diary: She burst into tears &...
Family and Intimate relationships Vita Sackville-West
VSW 's growing romance with Virginia Woolf , which had lasted for three years, produced a significant moment of intimacy
Glendinning, Victoria. Vita. Penguin, 1984.
during a visit by Woolf to Long Barn.
Glendinning, Victoria. Vita. Penguin, 1984.
Family and Intimate relationships Marghanita Laski
The political theorist Harold Laski was ML 's uncle. Laski, a professor at the London School of Economics, was the best-known socialist intellectual of his era. His books on the Second World War, the...
Family and Intimate relationships Sybille Bedford
Since the first attempt had been prevented by Home Office suspicion that SB was an undesirable foreign prostitute taking this means to begin plying her trade in Britain, the best man on the second occasion...
Family and Intimate relationships Dorothy Bussy
Janie Bussy became a painter and writer like her parents; she also lived with them all her life. Of the Bussys' friends, the Bells and Virginia Woolf were especially close to Janie. Janie was fully...
Fictionalization Eliza Kirkham Mathews
EKM 's representation by her husband's second wife as a pathetic victim, idealistic but foolish and untalented, paved the way for Virginia Woolf 's portrait. Woolf seized on details given by Anne Mathews: the best...


When Julia Ballam (an undergraduate at St Hilda's College, Oxford , who later became the scholar Julia Briggs) got pregnant, the college stripped her of her scholarship, but more remarkably for this date they did...
December 1964
Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but declined to accept it for personal and ideological reasons: the only person ever to do so.
V. S. Pritchett , whose career as a prolific man of letters ran from the early 1920s into the twenty-first century, issued his most successful book, A Cab at the Door, the earlier volume...
September 1998
Literary historian Nicola Beauman founded Persephone Books , aimed at reprinting in beautiful format forgotten classics by twentieth-century (mostly women) writers.
Persephone Books.
13 July 2006
A rare book sale at Sotheby's brought under the hammer both a First Folio of the works of Shakespeare and a copy of the first edition of Woolf 's Orlando inscribed to Vita Sackville-West .
April 2016
A bot, or Twitter account programmed to issue a piece of writing divided into fragments of 140 characters or less, entitled Sappho @sapphobot, was launched this month and became Twitter's most popular poetry bot (apart from...